by: Katherine Hardwick in Historic Preservation, Spotlight No Comments  

Looking to ditch the drab cubical farms with their drop ceilings and fluorescent lights? Ever dream of spending your days in creative workspaces like these? Maybe you remember our article on photographer Tiffany Manning working Downtown.

Flagg Design Studio: lots of natural light, exposed brick and wooden beams

Creative, quirky and customizable office space is in high demand these days. And luckily, Downtown you’ll find just such gems – often tucked away in historic buildings, and walkable to the river for moments of meditation, numerous dining options to keep your palate guessing, and cultural venues to spark that next big idea.

Take the Flagg Design Studio space, pictured right. Cradled in the heart of Downtown’s entertainment district, The Elbow, the studio capitalizes on the bones of the historic 1906 “Livery Building,” the same building that is home to Tiffany Manning Photography.

About the “Livery Building:

“This building is a pleasant reminder of the days when horses and carriages were the primary means of transportation in Jacksonville.  The McMurray Livery, Sale & Transfer Company was established in 1880 by Thomas McMurray, an Irishman.  He came to Jacksonville as a Union soldier in 1864, and he remained here as Chief Deputy U. S. Marshall, a post that he held for eleven years.  His original livery stable was on the corner of Forsyth and Newnan Streets, where he had a lively trade renting and selling carriages and horses.  This business burned in the 1901 Fire, and a new stable was rebuilt on the same site.  The livery business prospered with the post-Fire building boom in this city; and in 1905 McMurray Livery, Sale & Transfer Company purchased this present site for expansion purposes.  This building was constructed the following year, serving as a carriage showroom, blacksmith shop, and stable for horses.

Over the years, as the increasing number of automobiles in Jacksonville helped bring about the demise of the livery business, this property was sold and was variously used as a plumber’s shop, a printing company, a gas station, and a garage.  In 1972 architect William Morgan purchased the former livery stable and restored its facade to the original configuration. Its interior now houses professional offices and a parking garage.  The east wall of this structure marks the approximate location where Jacksonville founder Isaiah D. Hart built his log cabin when he came to Cow Ford in 1821.”

– Excerpt from Metro Jacksonville.

For more information on available space in the Livery Building, contact Bob Ascher, Guardian Commercial at 904-880-5656. If you’re looking to bring your office or retail business Downtown, we’d be happy to work with you to locate spaces to fit your needs or connect you with a local realtor. Contact Terry Lorince at 904.634.0303.

We also offer a number of resources on our website under “Doing Business,” such as: Demographics & Statistics, Economic Incentives and Legislation, Available Retail Space and Downtown Sustainability information.

by: Katherine Hardwick in Events No Comments  

We hope you were able to make it down to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival this year and, moreover, stay Downtown for the inaugural Jazz Fest After Dark.

The brainchild of local promoter Jason Lewis, Jazz Fest After Dark was a partnership between The Elbow, the City of Jacksonville – Jacksonville Jazz FestivalDowntown Vision, Inc.JAX Chamber and Visit Jacksonville to encourage Jazz fans to stay and experience Downtown’s live music and nightlife scene. If three nights, three venues and free music sound great–it was. But don’t take our word for it – here are some shout-outs from Facebook:


“The After Dark venues were edgy and non-confrontational. I saw families and the out-of-town patrons from the Hyatt that were stretching from their comfort zones and really enjoying themselves.

We hope that the “After Dark” concept continues to be an additional component to all of Jacksonville’s downtown festivities. It really showed off how beautiful the Downtown area can be “After Dark”. I hope the venues choices increase with offering special consideration for family friendly atmosphere, free admission, and encourage exploration of the newly revitalized Downtown Jacksonville area.”
– Ida Louise

“I am a local musician who participated in the recent Jazz Fest After Dark with the groups Tambor and the Joseph Yorio & the Avant World Ensemble. I wanted to thank you for putting together this wonderful addition to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. It maintained downtown’s vibrancy after the main acts played their last notes and gave many local musicians an opportunity to perform to large festival crowds.”
-Chris Jackson

by: Katherine Hardwick in Advocacy No Comments  

Next time you’re walking around Downtown and you see something you love …or something that needs work, get your smartphone out.

The City of Jacksonville has introduced “More of This, Less of That,” a campaign to create dialogue about our city’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. And all you need to do is snap and share a photo to participate.

If it’s a picture of something you like, tweet or post on Instagram with the hashtag #MoreOfThis, post it on the City’s Facebook page, or email it to If it’s something you don’t like, tweet or post on Instagram with the hashtag #LessOfThat, post on the City’s Facebook page, or email it to

So far, public art and events like the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and PB&J’s Pop-up Picnic make the “more” list.

Not surprisingly, vacant buildings and trash show up frequently on the “less” list.

For the fine print, you’ll want to check out the disclaimer regarding the use of submitted materials. And as always, if you wish to report an issue to the City of Jacksonville, you can do so online at, by emailing, or by calling 630-CITY at (904) 630-2489.

by: Admin in Events No Comments  

Click the image above to view the Jazz Fest After Dark line-up.

Jazz music and favorite brews flowing / Friends hanging, dancing, singing / Downtown bursting at its seams / And that’s only the beginning…

After the sun sets each night on the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, the party continues with the very first Jazz Fest After Dark, a collaborative effort to feature live jazz-related entertainment in the The Elbow, the emerging nightlife scene of Downtown Jacksonville.

“Our goal here was to use the momentum of Jazz Fest to encourage people to enjoy the amazing nightlife atmosphere Downtown offers,” said Jason Lewis, local promoter and Jazz Fest After Dark organizer. “There’s such an outstanding local live music scene in Jacksonville, and it’s a shame for anyone to miss out on it, especially during Jazz Fest.”

1904 Music Hall, Burro Bar and Underbelly will present live music all three nights. Performances includes sets by Al Letson & Willie Evans Jr., Ahleuchatistas (Asheville, N.C.), Canary In the Coalmine, Stokeswood (Atlanta, Ga.), Joseph Yorio & Avant World Ensemble and Goliath Flores.

Jacksonville Jazz Fest After Dark is a partnership between The Elbow, the City of Jacksonville Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Downtown Vision, Inc., JAX Chamber, Visit Jacksonville and local promoter Jason Lewis. For more information on Jazz Fest After Dark, visit: Full information on the Jacksonville Jazz Festival can be found at Visit The Elbow for more events at:

by: Admin in Thought Leadership No Comments  

A proud South Florida native, I spent my last summer in Palm Beach County dreading the days when I would be forced to become a “northerner” and move to Jacksonville to attend college. I didn’t think Jacksonville could compare to my beloved West Palm Beach. I refused to go Downtown, I turned up my nose at Town Center and don’t even get me started on the beaches – water should be clear and sand should be soft! Slowly but surely I warmed up to Jacksonville and all the amazing things this city has to offer, especially the Downtown area.

Downtown is home to many amazing festivals and artistic showcases such as One Spark and Art Walk.  One Spark, which premiered this past April, was the world’s first crowd funding festival that featured artists, musicians, inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators. The five-day festival ended with the $250,000 prize money being divvied up among the winners in each of the different categories. One Spark brought huge crowds to Downtown’s core and was considered to be a great success by its creators, partners and the city.

Art Walk is a great opportunity for local artists to show off and sell their art and jewelry. It also allows musicians to play in a public setting and build their fan base. This month, Art Walk will have a flare for the dramatic as it features local theater and improv groups from the Jacksonville area.

Downtown also boasts one of the best nightlife scenes in Northeast Florida. Whether you’re into dub-step and house music or country and line-dancing, there is a bar that fits your needs. New Downtown collaborative effort, The Elbow, allows users to find all of the information about Downtown nightlife in one place. The Downtown bars offer a variety of drink specials from cocktails, to signature brews, which offers something for every bar hopper.  Most bars also have live music or local DJs, so with a little liquid courage, you can dance the night away.

There are also many restaurants and shops that are unique to the Downtown area. I fell in love with Chamblin’s Uptown the moment I walked in and could spend hours searching for books and movies.

The great thing about Downtown is there is always room to grow and people who are willing to put in time and effort into making it an even more beautiful place. With the remodeling and renovations that are in the works for the urban core, it promises to continue to be a community that thrives and flourishes. While you may not be able to change my mind about the beaches, I’m definitely sold on Downtown, and this proud Palm Beach girl is very happy to be living in a Downtown Jacksonville world.

-Emily Gregorchik, DVI intern
DVI offers marketing internships each semester. More information on the program can be found here.




by: Admin in Thought Leadership No Comments  

The Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) is close to hiring its first CEO as well as a firm to develop its Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Plan. This early stage is the ideal time to identify and quantify possible benchmarks by which the DIA could measure its effectiveness at improving Downtown Jacksonville.

We reached out to our partners at NAIOP and asked them to help us develop the criteria that we should use to benchmark the growth of Downtown moving forward. These benchmarks, supported by JCCI as part of the Jax2025 findings, include: increasing the taxable value of Downtown, decreasing the number of vacant buildings, increasing the number of people living and working Downtown, decreasing retail vacancies, adding more sidewalk cafes, and increasing the number of visitors to Downtown. While the categories may not surprise you, what may is how some of these statistics vary by area of Downtown, from the Northbank to the Southbank to Brooklyn and LaVilla.

Our hope is the DIA will use our report to help them benchmark their success moving forward and also to use this information to target future incentives as part of the CRA Plan. DVI intends to update this information on an annual basis.

-A message from the Executive Director, Terry Lorince


Read the fullDowntown Jacksonville Update to learn about what’s happening Downtown in the realm of news, initiatives, developments and more. And if you haven’t already signed up for this monthly e-newsletter, sign-up to have all future Updates sent directly to your email inbox.

On the heels of International Downtown Association’s announcement that Downtown Jacksonville is the May 2013 Downtown of the Month, EU Jacksonville released its annual Downtown issue.

The special report highlights recent proposed developments, major event successes such as One Spark, and emerging ideas on Downtown’s future via the JAX2025 initiative. One theme throughout the piece is the importance of community-wide involvement in the revitalization of the River City’s center.

Downtown Vision, Inc. and other urban-core advocates shared the following key points on Downtown involvement:

“You must be present to win. We all have great ideas and good suggestions, and great things will happen from those. But to experience and to be all about it gives you incredible satisfaction.” -Tony Allegretti, Director of Downtown Engagement for JAXChamber

“You’re gonna have people who will get involved Downtown at the One Spark level, but you don’t have to know how to put on a festival to make a difference. It’s as simple as ‘Come Downtown.’” -Katherine Hardwick, DVI Director of Marketing

A community only gets better when people throughout the community take responsibility for making it happen. When you’re playing this game that’s moving the city forward, there’s nobody sitting on the bench. There’s no one in the bleachers. We’re all suited up, and we’re all on the field.” -Ben Warner, JCCI CEO

Downtown improvements have always been a part of Mayor Brown’s platform. The general consensus is that Jacksonville needs to have a vibrant, energetic Downtown in order to progress as a city.” -Ted Carter, Office of Economic Development Executive Director

Read the full “State of Downtown” report to learn more about how “Jacksonville’s entire image is slowly and subtly changing.” And make sure to attend this Saturday’s JAX2025 Celebration and Release event at 9 a.m. at EverBank Field’s West Touchdown Club, where a vision report to the community will be released.